With an updated skylight and enlarged building perimeter with added windows, things are looking bright inside OCLC.
The international library co-op needed to make some structural repairs at its Dublin headquarters after nearly three decades in its longtime home. Although the original orange and brown paneling inside was long gone, other interior updates were made while the panes of the expansive skylight were replaced and the building took on a whole new shape (literally) with new geometric edges jutting out at different points.
Upon signing in, visitors will find themselves comfortably seated on modern furniture and listening to music that is voted on by staff—varying from classical, country and jazz, all dependent on the day of the week. After walking past security, the building opens into a huge space filled with light from the windowed roof above, and a huge staircase that can be used as an alternative working space or as auditorium seating. A small area with tables and lamps to the side of the stairs give off a “Mad Men” vibe. Offices surround the space in a circle that stretches four floors and has balconies looking down on the sky-lit common area.
Other new parts include an area lovingly dubbed “Third Space” by employees with a coffee bar and booth seating that is designed to keep private conversations private with cloth paneling. They space also includes cafeteria seating, new equipment, free oatmeal or fruit on Fridays and a secret basement-level game room that employees have named“794” after the Dewey Decimal Classification number for “indoor games of skill.” In fact, OCLC owns the DDC. “We unveiled [the game room]during a town hall. I think there was quite a rush to get down in that direction,” says Tammi Spayde, vice president of marketing, human resources and facilities.
Third Space is Spayde's favorite part of the office upgrade. “It's another place you can come, and you can have small group meetings, you can have maybe a bigger session. … On top of each of these big booths are additional occasional seats, all a little bit different. The really cool thing about these is you can be sitting in there, everything still feels open, but because of the way the material is around those, you really can't be heard.”
Spayde says OCLC made sure to incorporate more technology in its upgrade. Monitors thoughtfully placed around the building have different uses—the one in the cafeteria is to show the menu and prices, while the one in reception tells visitors about the company. Conference rooms have an electronic scheduling system, and lights come on and camera lenses for video conferencing swivel to get ready for use when one enters. The building includes a small library, but Bob Murphy, manager of public and media relations, says most resources are contained on an extensive online library used to stay up to date on technologies and developments in information science.
Not included in the renovations are the offices around the building perimeter, but Spayde says that they will eventually get a refresh, also.